Around the Home with Gabby: Dining Room Ideas with Definition

antique style

It’s been said the kitchen is the heart of the home. But we’d argue that where you eat is just as important as what you serve. Eating and entertaining is about coming together as family or friends, and whether it’s a breakfast table, kitchen counter, or table set for 12, every meal deserves a beautiful spot to enjoy it. So clear those crumbs, break out your favorite china, and revitalize your dining spaces with the inspiration here.

7 Dining Room Ideas That Make Us Swoon:

1. Scale Appropriately

Be sure the table and chairs you choose are proportional to your space. Large dining rooms can accommodate grand options like the Beckett or Whitlock table. Smaller dining spaces work best with more intimate options, like the Adams Round Dining Table that Designer, Shayne Morrissey chose for his client’s breakfast nook.“I wanted the space to feel casual and intimate,” he explains. “There’s something about gathering at a roundtable that makes everyone feel welcome and relaxed. It’s important to promote conversation.”

Get the Look: Aesthetically, the pieces come together through a repetition of shape and contrast of materials. Notes Shayne, “The Adams Dining table was the perfect size for the space and has an understated rustic quality. The dark patina of the Joyce chairs provided contrast. Plus they’re metal, which makes them totally kid proof!”

2. Think Unconventionally


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For my childhood home renovation we quickly moved from the kitchen to the peripheral rooms that were in dire need of updating – blame it on the domino effect! We turned to our friends at @summerclassics @gabbydecor based in my hometown of #birminghamalabama for many of the furnishings throughout (note- Gabby dining table and side chairs pictured here alongside some vintage @bakerfurniture chairs we reupholstered in our @phillipjeffriesltd clad dining room ????). Click link in profile for our full interview with Gabby and the little things that make me miss the South ???? Photo @alyssarosenheck • #brynnolsondesigngroup #kitchenrenovation #diningroom #howyoushapeyourspacewillshapeyourday

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Sometimes the best places to gather and eat are the ones least expected. In this cleverly positioned dining nook designed by Brynn Olson Design Group, creates  an eclectic mix of Gabby dining pieces come together to create a charming space for enjoying a meal and company. A neutral color palette unifies the space, allowing the different shapes and materials to highlight each other’s unique designs. A circle motif throughout the room’s elements keeps the overall feel of the dining room space light and welcoming.

Get the Look: Brynn created this light and airy dining room space by mixing together Gabby’s Taro Dining Table and Danielle Side Chairs.

3. Keep It Cozy

A great dining space begs you to linger long after the plates have been cleared. In this dining room area, created by Kelly Scott Interiors, the wood-burning fireplace was the inspiration for creating a cozy environment. The designer then chose a variety of textures and materials to add depth and warmth through both sight and touch.

Get the Look: As Kelly explains, “This space is all about natural texture. When I saw the new Bentley chair, I knew it was a must for this space. All of the items are naturally derived: Ohio Limestone, a solid oak dining table, woven rattan chairs, and a brass light fixture. To keep it from reading too flat we grounded it with a deep indigo jute rug.” No need to overdo the décor in a layered setting like this. Simple centerpieces such as fresh flowers, brass candlesticks, or a beautiful bowl of fruit will do.

4. Be Creative

Dining rooms are where friends and family come together to socialize and celebrate. Use the opportunity to make the design equally joyful. In this Greenville home, decorator Amanda Louise added a mixture of vibrant patterns, soft furnishings, and transitional accessories to rejuvenate an inherited dining set cherished by her client. “This room started with traditional furniture that needed new life. To make the room relevant and comfortable for her young family, we started with the fabric on the end chairs to give us a palette, then balanced tradition and trend for the rest of the space.” The room’s success also comes from its harmony of bold and quiet.

Get the Look: Limiting the bold pattern to just the ends, the room feels lighter and the other details can pop. The Gabby Harvey Chandelier, she explains, “is appropriately sized for a large table and straddles the line of old and new.” The wallpaper is a natural solution to adding personality. “Dining rooms don’t offer the same opportunities to use textiles as living and bedrooms do,” she explains. “I always like to take advantage of wallpaper to break up what is usually a lot of brown furniture.”

5. Make it Easy


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Perfect place for the holidays. ???? photo by @christinahussey #georgiastreetdesign #interior123

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Sometimes the most used spaces aren’t the most glamorous; they’re the ones designed with ease of use in mind. Formal dining rooms aren’t often used on a daily basis, and modern families often entertain wherever the food is. Meredith Beregovski of Georgia Street Design knew incorporating an eating space was essential to modernizing a pre-existing kitchen for a client. Since the space was small, the design needed to be clever and hard-working, with pieces that were “at ease, cleanable and durable” she says.

Get the Look: The Arnold Chandelier was selected for its scale and timeless aesthetic. “Lighting is one of the first things you notice,” she explains. “It both unifies a space and elevates the overall design.” She also used the Beckett Dining Table as a dramatic sweep, setting an organic, elegantly understated tone to the dining room.

6. Choose the Right Accessories

“I love to start with a bold chandelier or a beautiful wallpaper,” says Dominique DeLaney of Comfy Cozy Couture. “If you’re looking to make a dramatic statement with your dining room, those are the elements that can push the design over the top.”

Get the Look: Here, the warmth and texture of the Nadia beaded chandelier riffed on a traditional style but with a more relaxed, whimsical vibe. Adding symmetry with the Diana Mirrors “grounds the empty space next to the window,” she explains. “It’s the first space you see when you enter the room. The Lucite and brass frames make the space feel complete without being overpowering.”

7. Mix it Up

Using different chairs around a dining room table automatically puts the room at ease. But to keep the space elevated and on point, make sure the elements complement each other.

Get the Look: Here, the Watson Wingback chair and Penelope side chair are brilliant dining companions because they contrast in materials and scale but share a similar airy aesthetic. Together, they make a flexible space that is equally suited for a casual Sunday brunch or formal Christmas dinner. A turned leg table and bench add bohemian flair and mimic the orb pendant above.

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